Redevelopment of the Crossroads Mall site in Fort Dodge is proposed to include the addition of a large plaza, a medical facility a hotel and multiuse buildings that would include apartmentsRendering by Shive Hattery Architecture and Engineering

The city of Fort Dodge is seeking the ability to use a portion of state sales and hotel-motel tax to help pay for a redevelopment project that would replace the decades-old Crossroads Mall.

The City Council this week passed a resolution in support of submitting an application for the Iowa Reinvestment District Act Program. In place since 2013, the program allows communities to use new state hotel-motel and sales tax revenue generated by a development to be reinvested in the area in which the development is located.

Backers of what’s called the Corridor Plaza project are seeking $18 million to help pay for the $86 million redevelopment project.

Fort Dodge’s Corridor Plaza will replace Crossroads Mall, located on about 35 acres north of U.S. Highway 20 on the east side of the city. Plans call for the development of smaller retail buildings, restaurants, a medical office building, mixed-use buildings that would include apartments, a hotel with meeting space, indoor and outdoor entertainment space, and a multiuse pavilion. The center of the plaza will include about 10,000 square feet of green space.

“I think this will be the same kind of catalyst for changing retail culture that the original mall was when it opened,” Mayor Matt Bemrich said in a prepared statement. “This will bring back the regional hub draw that Fort Dodge has traditionally had.”

The city, in a development agreement approved in January 2020, has committed to providing up to $18.2 million, including reimbursing the developer for property acquisition, demolition, cleanup and infrastructure improvements, according to the Fort Dodge Messenger.

The developer is Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, managed by ATI Group, which is located in Ankeny. The group in March 2020 bought the mall property for $3.3 million, according to the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

The former Sears department store building was torn down in 2019, and in 2020 the building that housed the J.C. Penney department store was razed. Plans call for about half of the former Younkers department store building to be demolished this year with the remainder redeveloped as a retail strip plaza.

The deadline to submit an application for the program is Thursday.

Other projects

The following are among the cities that have indicated plans to submit applications to the Iowa Reinvestment District Program:
  • The city of Des Moines, on behalf of a project that includes development of a professional soccer stadium.
  • The city of Urbandale, in partnership with Des Moines, on behalf of a project that includes development of a multiuse arena at Merle Hay Mall.
  • The city of West Des Moines, which is expected to submit an application on behalf of backers of a plan to redevelopment Valley West Mall.
  • The city of Johnston, on behalf of a project that includes redevelopment of an area surrounding Merle Hay Road.
  • The city of Newton, on behalf of a project that includes development of an entertainment area and pedestrian mall in between the town’s downtown and what’s known as Legacy Plaza.

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